WCMS Completes 54th Session

“I was astounded,” said Marci Gannon when she learned she’d won a high honor from her classmates.

The Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) concluded its 54th session last month, graduating 89 students. Ten Northwest credit union professionals were among those completing an intense three-year program for managers and upper-level operational staff. The students come together for two weeks each summer on the campus of Pomona College in Claremont, California, and work with mentors and faculty on projects during the year. The curriculum focuses on strategic planning, operations, finance, marketing, lending, human resources, technology, business development, economics, business law and more.

Northwest graduates of the 2014 “Mu class” include:

  • Ethan Bambock, STCU;
  • Ryann Weaver, St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union;
  • Jason Elliott, WSECU;
  • Greg Floyd, Old West Federal Credit Union;
  • Marci Gannon, STCU;
  • James Gibson, OSU Federal;
  • Alexandria Gurney, iQ Credit union;
  • David Mitrany, Rogue Credit Union;
  • Dawn Morrison, Mid Oregon Credit Union; and
  • Aaron Palmer, TwinStar Credit Union.

“A Powerful Way to Make a Difference”

Midway through her WCMS program, Ryann Weaver left her marketing position at Clackamas Federal Credit Union to accept a position as Vice President of Marketing at St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union. As if a career change wasn’t enough, she kept up with the demands of WCMS and called the learning “a powerful way to make a difference.”

“WCMS has been an all-encompassing, enriching, and unforgettable experience,” Weaver said. “It has given me the gift of perspective which has already woven its way into my life. I have a new appreciation for the power of collaboration and its importance within my credit union and the movement as a whole. Thanks to WCMS, I have discovered an expanded network of peers. I truly respect the value that brings.”

A Previous Graduate Gives Back

Brandi Gleason, 2013 WCMS Graduate and director of member resources for the NWCUA.

Brandi Gleason, a 2013 WCMS graduate and director of member resources for the Northwest Credit Union Association returned this summer as a graduate assistant. In her own words, she describes the ultimate opportunity to “give back.”

As a 2013 WCMS graduate, I deeply cherish and often reflect on the learning, experiences and relationships I gained as a student of the school. I was honored and deeply moved when asked to return as a graduate assistant for the Mu Class of 2014. The “GA” experience turned out to be the greatest learning experience of my professional career and I will take those lessons with me along my adventures as a credit union leader. I gained a new understanding and appreciation for the term ‘servant leader’.

It was my distinct honor and privilege to serve as the Mu class’ graduate assistant this year. I was inspired by this group of passionate and innovative leaders and I am confident they will go on do to incredible things in their communities, their credit unions and for the movement as a whole. I have never been more proud than I was watching each one of them as they walked across the stage to accept their diplomas on graduation day.

Students who enter WCMS begin as credit union employees and depart as passionate leaders of a movement on fire for the future of credit unions. I extend my gratitude to the leaders of our Northwest credit unions, and beyond, who have invested so much in their employees and ultimately, the movement by sending them to this school. Our movement’s future is so bright with these leaders at the helm and we have today’s leaders to thank for their support and commitment and WCMS for providing an experience that is second to none.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.


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